Sunday, January 11, 2015

Going out as a 19-year-old versus going out as a 41-year-old

Last night I conducted a sociological study of sorts that was immensely interesting.  I conducted many of these in my late teens and early twenties.  Although I am a vastly different person than I was 20-odd years ago, I am a thinker, a reflector, and so I am pondering last night's events with as great of zeal as I did in the "good ole days."

The content of the reflections is markedly different.

When I was young, I went out partying to meet someone, with the hopes that I'd find some good-looking, smart, trustworthy, great-dancer of a guy who would fall in love with me and be with me forever.  The thought in my head was always, "What do these guys think of me?  Does anyone find me attractive?  Am I good enough?"

As a 41-year-old, married for 17 years with 3 kids gal, I went in looking to have fun with my mom-friends, with the intention of dancing.  A lot.  The thought in my head was, "I am so awesome and so much better looking than so many of these people.  For a mom of 3 kids, I am smokin' hot."

The reality is....I'm not smokin' hot.  I don't wear make-up.  I have short hair, which most men find a turn-off.  I wear glasses and look like a nerd.  But what I have now that I didn't have at 19 is a deep appreciation for myself  I'm sure of myself much of the time, and when I'm unsure I'm ok with admitting that.  If you don't like me....well, I really don't care.

I looked at the crowd differently, too.

My first impression was, "Dang, these guys here are old."  Lots of gray hair and facial wrinkles.  And then I remembered that my own face has lines that weren't in existence twenty years ago.  Oh, yeah.  I'm an old(er) fart as well.

The women in the crowd weren't competition as they would have been when I was younger.  I looked at them with less critical eyes.  Feeling sure of myself make me appreciate that I have nothing to fear from them.

It still had the feel of a meat market a bit and made me glad that I'm not 41-years-old and active in the dating scene.  Even though I feel more secure in myself, I'm sure a chunk of that comes from knowing I have someone at home who loves me, whom I don't think is going anywhere (mostly because he disliked dating even more than I did when he was younger).

There were a couple occasions when some dudes tried to start conversations or dance nearer to one of us than we'd like.  These gentlemen were probably very nice, but as I told my friends, "If anyone is gonna make me momentarily forget my wedding vows he is going to have to be  hunky as heck and a GREAT dancer."  And these guys were neither.

That sort of made me feel badly, made me feel as if I were back in middle school or something.  Using body language to let them know, "Um, guy, you should step off or back or something."

I danced and moved parts that haven't been sufficiently exercised in far too long, causing me to wake up this morning with a kink in my hips and a dire need for ibuprofen.  As a younger person, I seem to recall taking medication the morning after for a hangover, but that wasn't the case now.  Muscle atrophy is a bigger problem in mid-life, although I'm sure some of the people there tied one on pretty well.

I arrived home at 1:00 am and was woken up by both boys during the night and for the day at 6:15(ish).  At 8:00 am, I returned to my bed and slept until 11:15, causing me to be almost an hour late to pick N up from her sleepover.   The managing of children certainly wasn't an issue long ago.

My goal was to work on painting the basement today, but that plan has been revised.  My duff is sitting, drinking hot tea and trying to recover from a night of long-overdue fun with friends.

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